Game of Thrones Impressions: Season 3

You can read my breakdown of season one here, and season two here.

Episode 1 Valar Dohaeris, or, Davos Lives!

Well that's a casual introduction to giants.

I like Margaery. She's a good Queen.

Davos has successfully gone from a rock to a hard place.

Episode 2 Dark Wings, Dark Words, or, Going Places

Brotherhood without Banners! Have I found my people? Are these the guys fighting for an egalitarian future for Westeros?

Queen Margery just keeps getting more likable. She's actually as smart as Cersei believes herself to be.

This episode Bran meets another magical kid. Not a fan of magical kids.

Episode 3 Walk of Punishment, or, Hands Down a Good Episode

I'm going to miss Hot Pie, but, it sure is nice to see someone on this show find a happy ending.

They finally addressed why Stannis and Mellisandre can't just shadow bang their way to success. Takes life force, doing it again would kill him, standard magic limit stuff. It works.

I'm really impressed by the way they introduce Catelyn's relations. The scene of them trying to set the funeral boat alight with the flaming arrow, and the younger's failure to do so, effortlessly tells us everything we need to know about these two characters, and their relationship, all in one entertaining scene.

That was quite an ending. I think I get why they did the rock music over the credits, to drive home the shock over the rather hands off approach of Jamie's captors. But, I don't agree with it. I found it so jarring that it actually pulled me out of the show rather than driving anything home.

Episode 4 And Now His Watch Is Ended, or, Seller Beware

Jamie is really going through some shit, quite literally. I hope he comes out of this a better person. There seems to be a theme in this show that goodness springs from hardship. The nobility of the Starks is attributed to the harshness of life in the North, Daenerys's kindness stems from a childhood spent in servitude, and Tyrion's tough life seems to have made him (so far) the only Lannister with a sense of empathy that extends past his family. In general the worse a character is the less they've had to deal with in their life. Jamie will be the test of this theme. Whether he comes out of this with a new sense of right or he's still up for pushing kids out of windows.

What happened to the other Stark kid? There's supposed to be two but the last few episodes the younger has gone the way of Cersei's kids. Speaking of which, ya know, for someone who can't shut up about how much she loves her kids we sure don't see them a lot.

Wow. Theon's savior was just bringing him back. That is some 1984 level shit. Fuck the Greyjoys. (I think he's being held by the Greyjoys? Still not sure what's going on there)

I feel so bad for Sansa. She really does not have a mind for subtlety. She does not belong at court.

Aww, man. The Brotherhood is religious? I wanted them to be social revolutionaries not zealots.

Craster's dead! Too bad the Nights Watch had to fall to pieces to make it happen. Really a mistake on the part of the Commander, should have known that your troops first loyalty will always and forever be to their stomachs. Try to stand between them and food when they're in the cold, starving and all you'll get is mutiny. Should have killed Craster himself and been a hero to his troops. It's not like your going to need him much longer anyway, you know an army of White Walkers is on its way.

Daenerys is now ready to steamroll the world. She's got an air force AND an army of super soldiers. There's no conceivable way anyone in Westeros could compete with that. Of course, that's why she won't get there for a long time I'm guessing. Long enough for Winter to truly arrive and the situation to look hopeless for everyone. Then she can show up and we can have a massive White Walker vs Dragon battle. Like somethin outa some kinda song of ice and fire or somethin'.

Episode 5 Kissed by Fire, or, Jon Snow Learns Something

The Brotherhood can bring people back to life? Well that's an advantage in war. Or maybe their leader is Wolverine.

As happy as I am to see Jon Snow get lucky, his segments are really getting dull.

Oh Rob, you were doing so well. Why must you start making mistakes now. How could you ever reason that executing the leader of half your forces is a good idea.

So we learn the reason for Jamie killing the Mad King. I feel like this was supposed to be a big revelation, but really was there ever any doubt the Mad King deserved to be killed? I already thought that killing the old monster was the one endearing thing about Jamie. But! The fact that the show is now building up his good side after all he's been through seems to support my theme hypothesis. Looking forward to future developments from the ole' kid crippler.

Marying off Cersei and Tyrion is some pretty good politicking on Tywins side. I understand why they'd be upset, but it's really not that bad a situation. Sir Tyrell is almost certainly not going to care what Cersei does. If she ever gets Jamie back I'm sure they could get back into old habits. Sansa already has a liking for Tyrion, since he occasionally went out of his way to help her, and she's already friends with his real girlfriend. If she had any sense she'd be thrilled to be positioned with friends and outside the reach of Joffrey. Of course, that relies on Sansa having common sense.

Episode 6 The Climb, or, That's Impossible

No one could actually do that climb.

Dang, Little Finger finally became unlikable. I mean, I always knew he was ultimately in it for himself. Just like everyone else in this show. But, I thought he had enough conscience to at least feel bad about the things he had to do. Granted, that theory was already falling apart last season after his rather unsympathetic pep pimp talk to the crying Ros. But, there's a difference between rhetoric and action, and I'm sad to see what a monster he really is. I'd also hoped he had the sense to see the bigger picture and know that being rich and powerful in a stable kingdom is better than being the head of a failing state. Alas, Varys was right and Little Finger will indeed let the realm burn to rule the ashes. At least Varys seems to be all those good things I'd hoped Little Finger was. I think him and Margaery are currently the most likable characters.

Episode 7 The Bear and the Maiden Fair, or, That's Actually a Pretty Good Title Already

Tywin's the best. Not that I root for him, just that every time he's in a scene you know it's gonna be good. Somebody is going to get glared into submission, and when that somebody is Joffrey it's all the better. I'm trying to imagine Tywin and Stannis having a conversation and I just can't do it. The glaring is just too intense. I desperately hope they get a scene together at some point. 

Jamie is looking remarkable moral these days. While it's debatable, I don't think pre-amputation Jamie would have gone back for Brienne. So far my theme idea is holding up. Also, that former Maester mad scientist guy's got a lot of potential. I hope he sticks around.

Sidenote: the direction in this episode was really, really strange. Every conversation seemed to end on some sort of odd, lingering shot of nothing in particular and the CGI has never looked more fake.

Episde 8 Second Sons, or, The Other Wedding

Davos learning how to read is adorable.

Other than that, Tyrion and Sansa get married okay, Sam lucks into killing a White Walker and Daenerys befriends a creepy psycho. Not too much development. Though, learning that Daenerys doesn't speak Dothraki nearly as well as she thinks she does was a great little character moment.

Episode 9 Rains of Castemere, or, The Maroon Matrimony

Wow, John Snow totally just left Ygritte. Didn't see that coming. He's a bit of a jerk.

So. That's the wedding I've been hearing about. I'm impressed by Catelyn's dedication to making terrible decisions right to the very end. Pretty sure even the peasants of Westeros could have told you that Frey don't care about his wife. 

I guess the war is over now, with the North leaderless and plagued by pirates. I don't really feel like the show has much to drive it anymore. Arya needs to grow up and get her revenge, but that's been happening for like two seasons and unless it speeds up it can't really carry my interest. I really do not care in the slightest about Brans magical quest. I want to see Theon freed, but that's because I don't want to watch anymore torture, not because I care about Theon. Daenerys is still making things happen, but she's so far removed from everything else that half the time her segments seem more distracting than anything else. The Lannisters versus the Tullys, which seems to be on the horizon, could be entertaining but I don't really care which of them wins. What else is there? I guess I'll watch the next episode and see what it's got to offer now, but at the moment I feel my interest in this show deflating. It feels like every plot has stagnated, and rather than freshen things up the whole Red Wedding has just moved things even farther back. The Starks had always been on the losing side. Now they've lost. Not much of a story, that.

Episode 10 Mhysa, or, Daenerys Muad'Dib

Alright, I guess this show is still worth watching if it's finally ready to start up the war against winter. It's built up everyones hatred for each other to a fever pitch and then suddenly they have to work together. Should keep things interesting. Well played show, well played.

That ending, with Daenerys being lifted up by all the freed people, was really too saccharine for this show. I guess they wanted something positive after how dark everything else had just gotten, but it makes it feel even more like Daenerys is part of some totally different show.

So at the end of this season the award for least likable easily goes to the Orwellian fuck keeping Theon captive. Nobody deserves that. Not even the Greyjoys. I'd say the most likable characters right now are Varys and Queen Margaery. Hooray for capable, non-malevolent statesman. Tyrion remains as enjoyable as ever, though he hasn't been up to much this season. As for the other 'hero' Jon Snow has transitioned from boring to annoying. Hopefully the next season has something more interesting in store for him. Daenerys has become the obvious hero, and I do hope this show ends with her sitting at the throne, but she's starting to become a little too cartoonishly good. While it's hard to argue with the tactics of freeing slaves and therefore getting an incredibly loyal army, especially when they've already been trained as super soldiers, I do hope the next season has some hard choices to throw her way.